New York, NY

Director of Development, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, North America

The Organization

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), is an international, not-for-profit research and development organization (R&D) that develops lifesaving medicines for people with neglected diseases around the world.  We use the power of innovation, open science, partnerships, and advocacy to find solutions to a great injustice: the lack of medicines for life-threatening diseases that disproportionately impact poor and marginalized people.

DNDi was launched in 2003 when five leading research institutes from Brazil, India, Kenya, Malaysia, and France teamed up with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to launch an alternative, not-for-profit model for developing drugs for neglected populations. Together, we are proud to have delivered nine new treatments for six diseases that have saved millions of lives – and we aim to deliver a total of 25 treatments by 2028.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, DNDi  has built a team of approximately 250 employees working across nine countries. DNDi North America, created in 2008 and based in New York City, is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to strengthen and expand scientific networks, policy and advocacy influence, partner development, communications, and in particular, fundraising efforts to enhance DNDi’s global impact.

In 2021, DNDi released an ambitious new Strategic Plan 2021-2028, which outlined a funding goal of $1.3 billion, of which nearly $830 million has already been secured, primarily from governments, major philanthropic foundations, innovative financing mechanisms, and founding partners. As part of this strategy, DNDi aims to diversify its funding base and is investing in increasing private philanthropic fundraising capabilities with the ambition of raising at least $40 million in new philanthropic funding by 2028. DNDi’s North America fundraising team, working as part of the global private fundraising team, is expected to play a key role in this effort.

Position Overview

Are you a dynamic, entrepreneurial, senior fundraiser who loves a challenge and has experience growing successful private resource mobilization programs? Do you want to be part of a motivated, diverse, mission-driven, and global team deeply committed to global health equity? We are seeking a creative, out-of-the-box thinker to lead the development and execution of DNDi’s U.S. private resource mobilization efforts. You will develop and lead the U.S. private fundraising strategy, with the ultimate goal of diversifying DNDi’s funding base and enabling DNDi to expand its global impact.

The Director of Development will play a pivotal leadership role, managing a small, committed U.S.-based team. You will be responsible for cultivating and securing new support from high net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations, expanding and diversifying our current donor base while helping to drive organizational change and a greater culture of philanthropy throughout the organization. You will be comfortable working across different revenue streams, with substantial experience working with major/principal gifts and boards of directors or fundraising councils.

You will serve as a compelling spokesperson for DNDi, creating excitement about our mission, and inspiring others to support our goals. You will also help identify external advocates and champions for DNDi and build a structured fundraising council. Most critically, you will have prior experience building and growing a fundraising program to achieve significant year-on-year growth. Our goal is to at least triple annual private income from the U.S. in the next 3-5 years.

You will report to the DNDi North America Regional Executive Director, with a technical reporting line to the global Director of External Relations (Fundraising). You will be a part of the global private fundraising team and will work closely with the executive leadership of DNDi, the DNDi North America Board of Directors, and other relevant governance affiliations and advisory bodies.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead, design and execute a development strategy for DNDi North America including annual and long-term plans
  • Establish and manage meaningful relationships with HNWIs, foundations, and corporations, leading to transformative gifts to support DNDi’s work
  • Inspire, motivate and challenge a small development team through active mentorship, ensuring that appropriate budgets, systems, and procedures are in place, and building a culture conducive to partnership development and relationship management
  • Oversee fundraising campaigns, identification and qualification of a robust pipeline of principal individual donors and foundations, cultivation and stewardship efforts, solicitation strategies, and the development and timely submission of grant proposals and reports
  • Participate in and manage donor events to expand networking opportunities and enrich the experience of current donors, and play a major thought leadership role, identifying opportunities for DNDi attendance/representation on panels, at philanthropic conferences, workshops, and networking events, as appropriate
  • Co-lead the creation and management of a global advisory council to champion DNDi, open doors and networks, increase visibility, and help secure substantial long-term financial support
  • Oversee donor publications and donor communications for U.S. audiences, working in partnership with the Communications team to align strategies and craft messaging
  • Serve as a key advisor to DNDi leadership regarding global strategies for private resource mobilization, working with counterpart(s) in other regions, and helping to create an organization-wide culture of development and philanthropy


  • Minimum 10-15 years’ relevant experience in fundraising and philanthropy at a senior level in the United States
  • Proven experience delivering substantial and sustainable fundraising growth
  •  A strong affinity for the mission, ideally grounded in experience with international NGOs, academic or research institutions, hospitals, or other organizations with global public health relevance
  • Successful track record of cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors and securing 6-8 figure principal gifts
  • Knowledge of fundraising campaigns and event production preferred
  • Experience managing budgets as well as teams, with a strong ability to recruit, train, mentor, and motivate

Skills & Attributes

  • Entrepreneurial mindset and creative thinking, coupled with strong decision-making and leadership skills; wisdom and good judgment; keen analytic and problem-solving skills
  • History of building effective, collaborative working relationships
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders
  • Strong commitment to establishing and maintaining a diverse, equitable, inclusive and actively anti-racist work environment
  • Multi-lingual skills (Spanish or French preferred) and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated but not essential
  • Ability to travel (pandemic permitting) both within the U.S. and globally
  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Suite; experience with Salesforce a plus

Salary & Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience. Generous benefits package, including health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, 30 vacation days, 15 days of sick leave and contributions to the 403(b) plan.

Position Location:

Anywhere, with a preference for New York City vicinity.  Home and/or office-based. We are open to flexible/hybrid work arrangements. Please note that our office in NYC is currently open for individuals wishing to go to the office, as long as all COVID-19 precautions are strictly followed. At present, most US-based staff work from home remotely.

How To Apply

 DNDi North America strives to be an actively anti-racist organization and is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. We strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC), women, individuals with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community to apply.

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